The Big Fat Indian Joint Family

So this friend of mine, whom we shall call Monica (obviously name is changed here), finally gave in to the parental and society pressure and got hitched. This was an arranged marriage. A woman who worked hard and partied hard finally hung up her “single-boots”. The rest of us who were married sighed a sigh of sadness as we have all been there done that; while the few leftover single ladies of our group sighed a pang of jealousy that they are not hitched as yet.

You see we are in our late 30’s and as per society standards, those of us who are not married as yet, are middle aged women, who will never find a ‘good guy’, so relatives and concerned acquaintances try to fix us up with the following kind of people… The choices are immense ladies… I mean look at it!!!

  • Older men whose children may or may not be few years younger than us
  • Gay men who have not come out of the closet yet and their parents are forcing them to get married because you know marriage will fix everything
  • Men whose previous wives may have konked off in suspicious manner or are missing and allegedly have run off with someone else.
  • Unsuspecting men who have no intention of settling down but are presented at a gun-point by their parents
  • Lastly, men who might be in a relationship with someone else, but the parents do not approve…

Anyhoo, back to Monica… she gets married and settles in a different part of the city, and since she has worked her ass off for more than 10 years, she decided to take a sabbatical for six months or so before joining a new job. She also thought this will be the time to know her husband better.

Again digressing to another point which has haunted me ever since my late teens… why an arranged marriage? I mean it made sense in the older times, when women almost had no freedom or education or the free will to do anything. They were not allowed to meet men to find their own choice or even speak with them. So arranged marriage made sense here because parents decided that because they gave birth to the girl, they will get her married off whether or not she wanted it. But nowadays it does not make sense at all.

saas-bahuOur entire lives parents have taught us, not to talk to strangers, not to go away with them anywhere, or not to entertain them in any way because STRANGER DANGER!!! The height of hypocrisy is that the same parents will look for a guy from a “good family” and get the daughter married off, who in turn will walk in, after the ceremony, to a house full of strangers looking at her and judging her thoroughly. This is not fair!


Also in India, the woman does not marry the man; she marries his entire family, his extended family, and may be family friends too. So it is given the entire jing bang will be sitting and looking at her as if she are the most prized sacrificial goat of the ceremony. Once the ceremony and the silent judgement is over, even then she cannot retire to her room and heave a sigh of relief because, then it is the time for the intimate family members to read her every move and body language to decide upon her character.

right-to-privacySee I digress again! Getting back to my friend Monica; the unsuspecting woman took a sabbatical from work to understand her husband and spend some time with him, only to realize that she is going to live permanently with her in laws and the MIL has full immunity to encroach upon her privacy at will because the son belongs to her and Monica belongs to the son!

Not many days later after her wedding, we girls met for our monthly ladies night out for a worldly bitching session. While we all saw the hidden disappointment of the married life on her, most of us chose to not talk about it! However, Mitali (of course name changed again) poked the bear and asked “how is married life treating you?” The dam broke…

We realized that though earlier she was told that Vikas’s parents would stay with them for 3 months and then go back to MP (their home town), but they decided to stay here permanently after Monica and Vikas got married. Then the small arguments and judgments had started happening like what clothes she should wear and which ones she should discard, also why need to go out to meet friends in the evening and such others.

My points of wisdom to parents who still force arranged marriage on their kids (sons and daughters alike)…

Should the new couple not have some time on their own to understand each other’s daily routine without the interference from his or her parents? I am not talking about the honeymoon here because everything is so new and still made-up that nothing real actually happens then. Even the sex is new and both partners try their best to be different!

If you’ve decided to marry off your son, then please let the new couple be. The competition between the new wife and the mother is unnecessary and redundant. You are the mother and you don’t need to compete with your son’s new wife to prove that your son loves you more. He will always love you more because you are the mother dammit! However, the new wife is also not a door mat or a disposable dinner plate. She is here to stay and if you insist on living together with them then you might as well treat her well.

Wedding Hands


Image courtesy – (main image)



  1. Srushti Rao Srushti Rao says:

    It’s is unbelievable that these things happen right under our noses in the urban societies that we are so proud of.

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